Fungi, mushrooms, toadstools, no matter what you call them, I seem to have developed a growing fascination with photographing them. I decided to learn a little more about them. I’ve discovered that they are quite peculiar.
Mushrooms are not plants. They’re in a class of their own called fungi. They break-down and “eat” dead plant matter, storing nutrients in their body until they have enough to produce that lovely fruit that pops up from the loam. Everyone knows some of them are delicious when fried, some are tasty on pizza and some are best left alone. But I’m not a mushroom expert, so I only eat the ones that pop-up on the grocery shelves.
Some people believe toadstools and mushrooms are magic or satanic since they “magically” appear from the ground overnight, the devil’s fruit. Sounds creepy. Maybe that’s why there’s a social phobia for the fear of mushrooms: “fungophobia.” (At least that’s what Wikipedia told me. The Internet is always accurate, right?)
Perhaps mushrooms are the devil’s fruit or some mystical portal to the underworld, sprouting from below, tempting us with their bizarre shapes and vibrant colors. Why some ancient hunter-gatherer decided one day to pick a mushroom and put it in his or her mouth is beyond me, but I say thanks to that brave person. Someone had to be the first to discover the good ones and the bad.
I hope you enjoy my photographs of the various mushrooms gracing my jungle-like yard. The daily torrential downpours here on the Gulf coast of Florida have spawned little gardens of mushrooms in all my potted plants and mulch beds. Feel free to click on any photo for a closer look. And thanks for reading my mushroom nonsense.
“Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.” ~ Thomas Carlyle